Life of an actor

Disclaimer: This article is meant for sharing with my fellow actor friends and is not meant to make fun of anyone or organization(s) in any way. I apologize if you're offended by the article.

I have been a full time actor for 2 months and in my opinion, being an actor in Singapore ain't easy at all. During the course of these 2 months, I'm fortunate to meet many fellow actors and I'm very impressed by their passion, determination, endurance and sacrifices they've made to follow their dreams. Most of these actors have a full time job and they take on acting assignments during their free time. I've also met other more radical actors who left their high paying jobs to become a full time actor.

From my understanding, the pay of an aspiring actor is often low and sometimes, they may even have to act for free to accumulate experience for their CV. I've even heard some lecturers of some local film schools teaching their students not to pay actors because there's a huge supply of them in the industry.

To add on to the problem, competition is tough and unless you're as pretty or handsome like SNSD's Yoona or 2PM's Nickhun and you can sing, act and dance like them, it is not easy to get new projects. (Or land yourself a good/ big role) Even if you are as outstanding as them, there will always be someone who is better or is willing to settle for a lower pay check. As such, rejections is also part and parcel of being an actor.

In another note, from my experience, I think the working hours of an actor is really erratic because shoots can start as early as 6am and end as late as 8am. A typical day of not filming would normally meant relaxation for the not-so-serious-actors and self upgrading for those who are serious in making a name for themselves in this industry.

For this group of actors, they often spent their free day working out in the gym to maintain or improve their physique so they can better generate interest amongst his audience. (Think 郑格平's abs)

The actor could also spend the subsequent part of the day attending casting calls, watching movies to try to learn from other established actors how they portray certain character. The very serious actor would lock himself away with a video camera in an empty room and start rehearsing in front of the camera, then watching his playback.

I believe the process of honing one's craft behind the scene is boring, not glamorous and often excruciating because one is always trying to push new boundaries. For example, I have several singer friends who would wake up early in the morning to practice that same, boring, vocal drills everyday for hours. I really believe and understand what the Chinese proverb meant by A moment on stage requires years of practice off-stage.

So yeah, there's a high barrier to enter the industry and sometimes, it is more difficult to become an established actor than climbing the corporate ladder. But there are some precious lessons I've learnt from my 2 short months being a full time actor. 


Rejections make your heart stronger. You learn that you're not lousy. It's just that someone else's more suitable for that role than you.



Everyone who can act is an actor. But you need to differentiate yourself from other actors to shine. Rainie Yang used to brand herself as cutesy princess for audience to know her. Show Luo market himself as dancing king. Jay Chou is the talented song writer. Jolin Tsai is the sexy diva who can dance. What about you?



Talent and good looks can get you somewhere in the industry. But it's hard work, patience, passion and good attitude that will sustain you in this industry.

So, let's not give up and continue doing what we enjoy! We only have 1 life. Let's live it to the max :D

Comments (7)

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  • Nice!! Way to go!!! All e best!!
  • nice one! :DDD
  • well..dreams/goals r hard to achieve, but with enough passion & hard will definetly luck for it!

    the road towards our goals maybe hard, but never give sure u can make it 1 day..u r already 1/2 way on the road to success...gaining experience & all...jy ba! :)
  • can i be the president of your fc??
  • success is a journey not a destination. continue to do what you like. jia you.
  • jim~~ u have a website~~ cool stuff~~~
  • wow! i'm inspired! all the best in acting career and i hope to see you on big screen soon! you have brilliant attitude! thanks for sharing :D